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What Should Go In My Emergency Roadside Kit?

Drivers find a lot of enjoyment in cruising the open road, but it is important to be prepared for unexpected roadside journeys before you embark on any trip. Determining what to pack in your emergency roadside kit is largely up to you, but there are several must haves for any emergency.

Jumper Cables

If your car will not start and you are stranded on a deserted road, you are well aware of the perils of traveling without a set of good jumper cables. Batteries often run low on charge, which can cause difficulties when starting a vehicle.

When used safely, jumper cables can restore sufficient charge to your vehicle to get it started. All that is required is a set of approved jumper cables and another functioning vehicle.

Reflectors or Flares

If you are broken down on the side of a busy street, you may be wishing that you carried reflectors or flares in your roadside kit. Reflectors and flares can be placed at a safe distance from the vehicle to ensure that other drivers see you and your vehicle, particularly in low visibility conditions.

Motor Oil

Motor oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. If your vehicle is running low on oil, the engine may not function properly. Carrying an unopen bottle of motor oil in your trunk can be critical in emergency roadside situations. Make sure you purchase motor oil appropriate to your vehicle. Check your user manual for specific stipulations regarding motor oil type.

First-aid Kit

In roadside emergencies, there is always the potential for injury. Carrying a first-aid kit, complete with bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze and other medical necessities can help alleviate concerns until roadside assistance arrives. Complete first-aid kits can be purchased at many stores for a relatively cheap price.

Blanket, Jacket and other Warming Devices

If you are stranded in a cold weather climate and your vehicle stops cold, it could be many hours before someone can provide assistance. Carrying (space) blankets can help prevent against symptoms of exposure to the cold and guarantee your safety as you wait on help.


Finding a loose connection or the source of a tire flat can be difficult, if not impossible, in the dark. Always carry a flashlight in your vehicle in case of emergency and make sure that batteries are fully functioning. Flashlights can also be helpful in alerting emergency vehicles and others to your location in the event that you are stranded.

Tool Kit

Although it will be difficult to carry your whole garage with you on your trip, including some screwdrivers, a hammer and other basic implements in your kit can be a big help in difficult roadside situations.

Including these essential items in your roadside emergency kit will help make sure you and your vehicle are safe on the road.